Make Yourself at Home – Wabi Sabi Homewares
In a mass-produced industry that favours trends over taste, Wabi Sabi Homewares is putting individuality back into interior design. Georgia Beard catches up with owner Bridget Tyer on the importance of matching décor to the architecture of a home with timeless, personalised pieces.
Bridget Tyer from Wabi Sabi Homewares
How was your business born?
I have lived and breathed all things interiors since I can remember. I was making lamp shades at 12 and painted my room a deep burgundy. Looking back, I don’t think that was normal at that age.
I started my own business in Sydney as soon as I finished college in the early nineties, having worked for a small firm for 5 years prior whilst studying. Sydney was booming at that time and I worked on many high-end developments as well as private homes and commercial fitouts. It was an exciting time! Being immersed in interiors gave me great exposure to wonderful furniture and furnishings, which led to me opening two shops in Sydney and then one in Dubai where we were living. In 2018 it was time for a sea change so we made Noosa our home and as soon as I landed, I set about finding a shop and here I am.
I knew what to buy and where to buy it, I love sourcing beautiful pieces and presenting them at their best and that is how Wabi Sabi was born in Noosa.
How has your business grown since then?
Being very new to Noosa, getting our name out there has been the main focus. We have a wonderful database of like-minded customers and design clients
so the word is spreading. COVID has certainly put the brakes on our growth but we are hanging in there.
What do you love most about Wabi Sabi?
Shopping! I come across so many beautiful pieces its such a thrill when a customer comes along and loves a piece as much as I do. We have become a bit of a haven for interior addicts.
How does your personal style translate to your business?
I don’t think I have any particular personal style, I am reluctant to label a look as this can lead to an over-styled and predictable interior lacking in character.
Every interior has its architectural bones and every project has parameters and every project comes with a client’s brief.
As a designer, selections for a project are made with a lot more discipline. I choose things because they are right for that particular space. Buying for the shop is much more of a gut reaction, the trick is in the choreography and showing customers how to display items at their best.
Having travelled a lot I do tend to collect interesting pieces from around the world, ethnic pieces with a handmade imperfection and a sense of history. The perfectionist in me prefers to present pieces without too much visual pollution, so that the space has a sense of calm.
What is popular right now?
In the store, it is our Bodhi chair.
They are the most supremely comfortable chairs on the planet. It’s stylish, it’s architectural, it’s chic! It transcends age brackets, tastes and styles – and that is quite amazing.
What sets your business apart?
I think its because we don’t come with a ‘look’ and cannot be labelled. People come to us because we have a keen eye and a good sense of style.
How would you describe your range?
Very diverse and collected.
What about trends?
We mostly steer away from trends as this is the fastest way to out-date a design scheme. Key pieces need longevity; smaller accessories can be more ‘of the moment’ as they can be easily replaced.
Any tips to finding the perfect style?
Get as much exposure to different styles as you can, create a style file and you will see what you naturally gravitate to. Seeking expert advice from a designer will help you make educated purchases.
To me it’s not so much about a certain style but more about what works best in a particular space.
All interiors need to create a feeling, I find writing a list of adjectives to describe a room helps. So, rather than saying my style is ‘hamptons’ or ‘boho’; think in terms of: relaxed or formal; chic or classic; masculine or feminine; flashy or understated; elegant or funky.
What’s in the future for Wabi Sabi?
We will continue to focus on sourcing beautiful pieces building our reputation as a destination store. We have come across an amazing amount of local artists and I would like to provide them with a platform to present their work.
What do you love about being IN Noosa?
Having grown up in Sydney, there are very specific demographics. Not so much in Noosa which I quite like.
It’s a little bit like an expat community where most people have come from somewhere else with lots of stories to share.
Of course there is the amazing geography and world class restaurants and it still maintains its small town feel.
How do you make any room come alive?
A room comes alive when you get the balance right, when you create a feeling.
What styling advice do you have?
Try not to be too predictable such as thinking an entry way must have a console, a lamp and a mirror; try not to fill every space and every wall which can create visual pollution; and don’t use pieces just because you have them.
Fave Hobby: Gardening
Fave Drink: Mojitos
Fave Food: Oysters
Fave Colour: White
Fave Style / Design Accessory: White